Apple Event Roundup - 10 Things We Learned From Apple’s iPad Mini Launch BassBuds High Performance In-Ear Headphones with Mic/MP3 Controller We Review Dishonored, One of the Must Have Games for 2012 Here's 10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying a Washer Dryer

TechRadar logo By TechRadar

Hands on: Sony Xperia P Pictures & Review

We’ve spent some time at MWC 2012 playing around with a few phones, but the one that’s caught the eye so far is the Sony Xperia P.

We’re looking at a phone that might be designed for the middle-of-the-road when it comes to pricing, but there’s a whole lot more under the hood when you look at the specs.

The design of the phone is light years away from the sleek lines of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, as while there’s an aluminium unibody on offer, the chunkiness in the hand is palpable.

Sony xperia p review   Sony xperia p review

It also feels slightly plastic-like too, which is a bit odd for something hewn in the way it is, but it’s not the end of the world and the Xperia P isn’t without a premium feel to it.

The transparent plastic section at the bottom, which also house antenna tech, gives a nice touch to proceedings, but more importantly the screen is really what got our engines revving.

Sony xperia p review   Sony xperia p review

The White Magic screen is Sony’s attempt at taking the Bravia Reality Display one step further, by intelligently backlighting the screen in bright light to make it visible in practically any situation.

It looks the part too, with the 540×960 resolution screen cramming the pixels into the 4-inch offering – to say we were impressed with what we saw would be an understatement.

Sony xperia p review   Sony xperia p review

There’s more to the phone as well, with the dual core 1GHz processor cutting a few fancy shapes when swiping through the screens, despite not quite having the clout of some of its rivals.

It’s also only having to power Android 2.3, with the likes of Ice Cream Sandwich not appearing until a little later in the year.

The camera start up time was also fantastic, with a very quick boot from start and the addition of a dedicated camera button never goes amiss in our book either.

Sony xperia p review   Sony xperia p review

NFC is also included to make use of those fancy Smart Tags Sony has been banging on about of late, although they are pretty cool and should you take the time to set them up in the way you want, it will be worth it in the long run when you simply tap your phone when you walk through the door to enter ‘home mode’.

The internet browser was pretty hard to assess when trying it out on the Sony stand, as it was basically fighting for signal from a thousand other data users – it wasn’t terrible but working out how good the speed is was nigh on impossible.

It should be noted the internet browser is as bog standard as they come, with very little in the way of customisation from the original Android explorer.

The texting ability of the phone isn’t up to much either when we were trying it out – it was perfectly reasonable when it came to correcting our mistakes, and as you can see there are multiple ways the phone can assess your cack-handed mashings, but it’s not the most intuitive on the market.

Early verdict

Overall, the Sony Xperia P is a fine phone that impresses even without the svelte line of its predecessor.

The price shouldn’t be too bad, and with the speedy snappers, clear display and solid build, we’ll be keeping a close eye on how our Sony Xperia P review pans out.

Hands on: Sony Xperia P review